[Advaita-l] Re: yoga and vedanta
bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Fri Jul 29 06:43:27 CDT 2005
praNAms Sri Anand Hudli prabhuji (is it *Hubli*??)
Thanks again for taking time to write to me prabhuji. It would be a
knowledge enriching experience for me.
First, it is important to note that Shankara did not start something called
shankara siddhAnta. He only formalized the interpretation of what was
taught by the shruti and which we know as advaita.
Yes agreed prabhuji. but for the time being, for the discussion sake, we
may call it as shankara siddhAnta... if you have no objection.
Coming to madhusUdana, he has defended, for example, the vivaraNa school
interpretations of mithyAtva. In doing so, he was only elaborating, using
logic, on the definitions given by the school. This elaboration was made
necessary because of the challenge by nyAyAmR^ita which adopted a different
(logical) approach to criticize
advaita. There was no "ready-made" response available. If the challenge had
been thrown earlier, say shortly after PrakAshAtman, the VivaraNAchArya,
perhaps someone other than madhusUdana would have responded in a fashion
similar to madhusUdana (although I admit that person would necessarily have
been a genius like madhusUdana.)
Thanks for the clarification prabhuji. I think you are talking about
madhusUdana's master work advaita siddhi here. I've not studied this work
prabhuji, my studies in advaita siddhi limited to whatever your goodself
presented in advaita-L list sofar. As my understanding goes, this is an
independent work written in navya nyAya ( again, I can only just spell
these words like navya nyAya etc. my knowledge in this logic system is
absolute 'zero' ) to tackle the attacks of dualists. But can we say these
are the siddhAnta-s as propagated by shankara to his followers?? I dont
think so, the futility of mere logic (pramANa tarka) is quite conspicuous
in shankara's works. But it may hold good when countering the
pUrvapakshi-s..Even in shankara's works also we can find incidents like
this. For example, in sUtra bhAshya while refuting the buddhist theory
shankara upholds the reality of waking world & implies that waking world is
more real & solid when compared to other two states!!...but in mAndukya &
its kArikA & in ItarEyabhAshya bhAshya while presenting his siddhAnta to
his followers he treats all the three states i.e. jAgrat, svapna, sushupti
in the same manner.
And vivaraNa is itself based on the shruti, if not directly on shankara's
interpretation of the shruti. For example, the vivaraNa definition
"pratipannopAdhau traikAlikanishhedhapratiyogitvaM vA mithyAtvam.h" is
based on the shruti
statement "neha nAnAsti kiJNchana" per the GauDabrahmAnandI.
prabhuji, as you know, we all advaitins treat shankara's prasthAna trayi
bhAshya on par with shruti...for us there is hardly any difference between
shankara's interpretation of shruti & shruti vAkyas. Under these
circumstances, we can not say vivaraNa is based on shruti *if not*
shankara's interpretations...for shankara saMpradAya followers both are
same & equally important...kindly correct me if I said anything wrong here.
I think the verse I quoted was misunderstood. The vArtikakAra is *not*
saying any approach is as good as advaita. He is saying any advaitic
approach, that holds the identity of Brahman and jIva, is good. And, since
he is a firm adherent of the shruti, it follows he is saying that this
advaitic approach has to be shruti based.
I think this also can be cited as one more difference between surEshwara
(vArtikakAra) & shankara then!! because shankara says though
upanishadvAdins ultimately agree the advaita's Atmaikatva tattva, the
correct interpretation of shruti is required to be understood through the
methodology adopted by shruti.
Shankara's main thrust is definitely that jnAna alone is needed for
liberation. He makes this clear quite early (2.10-11) in the gItA bhAShya
tasmAt.h gItAshAstre kevalAt.h eva tattvajnAnAt.h mokShaprAptiH. See
madhusUdana's commentary on 12.5-7, for example, to note how he emphatic he
is about bhakti.
I dont think issue in shankara bhAshya is bhakti Vs jnAna but it is karma
Vs jnAna & samucchaya of jnAna-karma. shankara nowhere in bhAshya downplay
the efficacy of bhakti. His insistence on the concept of bhakti in gIta
bhAshya is quite evident & no doubt shankara is a shrEshTa bhagavad bhakta.
If *bhakti* is not the main issue in shankara gIta bhAshya, shankara would
have not taken pain to explain us chaturvidha bhakti in *chaturvidha
bhajante mAM* verse.
Ofcourse, its a fact that shankara stretches the meaning of verses such as
ananyAchitayaNtOmAm, sarvadharmAn parityajya etc.etc. just to reconcile
with shruti siddhAnta which explicitly says dEvAH taM parAduH yOnyatra
AtmanaH dEvAn vEda. But this no way mean that in shankara's bhAshya
*bhakti* occupies the back bench...as you know shankara concludes his gIta
bhAshya by saying *bhaktEH punargrahaNAt bhakti mAtrENa kEvalEna shAstra
saMpradAnE pAtro bhavati*...It is quite evident that shankara treats both
parA bhakti & jnAna nishTa as one & the same.
Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
PS : prabhuji, my mail may sound little bit argumentative...but kindly
note that my intention is not to indulge in debates..that too with fellow
advaita prabhuji-s..as I am a late starter in advaita...I'd like to get my
doubts clarified then & there from the learned scholars like you prabhuji.
I hope my view point is clear in my persistence.
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